ARAB, Ala. – The Arab city is officially no longer going green after a four-to-one vote to end the recycling program at a special meeting Monday afternoon.
Councilor Alan Miller was the only one to vote no.
Mayor Bob Joslin told News 19 that low turnout was one of the reasons they were considering stopping the recycling program.
“Only 25% of our employees actually recycle and of the 25% of recycled materials collected, only 40% is actually usable. It cost us extra money to get rid of the unusable recycling material, ”Joslin said.
District 1 commissioner Ronny Shumate spoke after the vote on issues he had encountered with the recycling program, including people who dispose of animal carcasses in bins.
Then there was a heated debate between Mayor Joslin and resident Sharon Barron Burke.
“I would consider moving because this is an issue that is really so important to the future of our country. Landfills are full, we are a wasteful society and we need to do better, ”said Barron Burke. “Recycling is the future. This is what we have to do. “
Barron Burke said she didn’t start out as what she calls a “good recycler” and that she knew firsthand that education is key to avoiding some of the issues discussed at the meeting.
“Some people are diehard recyclers and they do it right, but their neighbor can throw a ketchup bottle in the trash and you damage the whole truck, so the whole truck is contaminated,” Joslin added.
Joslin said he believes council has made the right decision at the moment, but is still trying to find alternatives for the city’s dedicated recyclers.
“Maybe just one day a week where people can bring in their recyclables and have them checked so that we know we’re actually getting things that are usable,” Joslin explained.
By eliminating recycling, residents will save $ 1.50 on each bill as opposed to bills increasing by $ 2.50.
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